Free agency is here and over the next few weeks, the mock drafts will change based on what players each team signs. There are some changes after only a week of free agency. Let the fun begin.
1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB: This is about as much of a lock as you can get. We already know the Colts are drafting a QB with this pick. It'd be a complete shock if they went with any other QB not named Luck.
2) Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB: The Redskins paid a hefty price for Griffin. Now they better hope he pans out or their franchise will be in a hole.
4) Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR: The Browns could go RB or WR here, but I give Blackmon the edge. No matter who they have at QB, the Browns will have to give them a receiving weapon. Blackmon may be the first of many prospects to face scrutiny over his value, in part because of the combine performances of other WR prospects, but he is still the top WR prospect in the draft.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Trent Richardson, RB: Greg Schiano will be looking to run the ball a lot and Richardson gives him a tremendous RB prospect to do it with. Richardson is a more versatile weapon than LeGarrette Blount and will help form a very good RB duo.
6) St. Louis Rams - Morris Claiborne, CB: The Rams have many holes to fill and while they lose on two of them with Kalil and Blackmon in this scenario, Claiborne will help fill a major hole in their defense. Getting a boatload of draft picks from the Redskins will help make up for the loss of getting the top WR or OT.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE: Re-signing Jeremy Mincey doesn’t mean the Jaguars won’t be looking for a DE in the draft. The Jaguars will need to get to the QB in a division that will have Matt Schaub, Jake Locker, and Andrew Luck as rival QB's.
8) Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB: I don’t like this choice at #8 overall, but there is a good chance it will be made. Tannehill's stock seems to be rising with each passing day.. Tannehill may not be able to start immediately, but could ultimately be Miami’s QB of the future.
9) Carolina Panthers - Michael Brockers, DT: The Panthers had to resort to starting Frank Kearse and Jason Shirley at defensive tackle in 2011. While they need help at CB as well, a solid CB won't be able to do much if Carolina can't generate any pressure on the QB.
10) Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff, OT: They signed Mario Williams, but they still need someone that can man the RE position. While there are plenty of edge rushers available, the Bills will need to fill the OT position even more as it looks like Demetrius Bell is unlikely to return. This makes Reiff the logical choice in this scenario.
11) Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe, NT: It comes down to a tough decision between Poe and ILB Luke Kuechly. A stud 3-4 NT, which Poe can be, is much harder to find than a 3-4 ILB. Poe gets the nod here even though the Chiefs really couldn't go wrong with either selection.
12) Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Martin, OT: The Seahawks would love to get their hands on someone like Melvin Ingram or Kuechly if he was still available, but they have a much bigger hole at OT. Martin would be an immediate starter and huge upgrade for Seattle as a LT. They need someone to protect Flynn and Paul McQuistan is not the answer. They can live another year with Chris Clemons and Red Bryant as their edge rusher or find a DE in the second round.
13) Arizona Cardinals - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB: The Cardinals will be happy to take one of the top three OTs if available, but they locked up Levi Brown in case they don’t. With all of the top OTs off the board, the Cardinals address a critical need on defense. Calais Campbell (8), Sam Acho (7), and Daryl Washington (5) were the top three pass rushers for Arizona in 2011, but Acho is the only OLB of the bunch. Clark Haggans and Joey Porter combined for a total of 4 sacks last year.
14) Dallas Cowboys - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB: The Cowboys have the luxury of filling a number of positions after a solid week of free agency when they shored up a number of holes, especially on the defense. While Janoris Jenkins is still a possibility even after signing Brandon Carr, they could go with Ingram to help with their pass rush. While the Cowboys placed a franchise tender on OLB Anthony Spencer, it was likely done more because of a thin OLB market instead of him being a true franchise OLB. A platoon of Ingram/Spencer across from DeMarcus Ware would tremendously help Dallas’ defense. The Cowboys could also decide to go with S Mark Barron with this pick if they feel they need more playmakers at safety.
15) Philadelphia Eagles - Janoris Jenkins, CB: Surprised by this pick? Don't be. The Eagles filled their biggest need by trading for MLB DeMeco Ryans. They could use a DT like Poe or Brockers, but they're off the board and it's too high to reach for any of the other prospects like Devon Still or Fletcher Cox. The Eagles have Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuels, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but the Eagles have placed Samuels on the trade block and hope to have him gone by the NFL Draft. This gives them the luxury of selecting Jenkins as their CB of the future. The Eagles may also take a look at Barron, but they still have two young prospects they drafted in the second round they'd like to grow into their positions.
Previous pick: Luke Kuechly, MLB
16) New York Jets - Michael Floyd, WR: They could also use a safety and pass rusher, but they just made Mark Sanchez they 7th highest paid QB in the NFL. Now they need to surround him with weapons to even come close to earning that paycheck.
17) Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: Kelly Jennings, Adam Jones, and Jason Allen? None of them are the answers at CB for the Bengals. While Leon Hall is a great CB, Nate Clements is 32 and is in the twilight of his career. Kirkpatrick could immediately compete for a position in nickel packages and eventually replace Clements. Luke Kuechly could also be a surprise pick here.
Previous pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB
18) San Diego Chargers - David DeCastro, OG: The Chargers could use someone like Mark Barron at S and could use another pass rushing OLB, but they desperately need help on the OL. The Chargers may hope Shaun Phillips will bounce back in 2012 and though newly signed Jarret Johnson isn’t a great pass rushing specialist, he is good enough to warrant a starting position opposite of Phillips. The Chargers will address the need for a pass rushing OLB, but it may not be in the first round.
19) Chicago Bears - Mike Adams, OT: The Bears no longer need much help at WR since landing Brandon Marshall in a trade with Miami, but they still need help protecting Jay Cutler. Cordy Glenn could be an option as well instead of Adams.
20) Tennessee Titans - Mark Barron, S: The Titans just signed Kamerion Wimbley to play DE and I don't think they're ready to give up on Derrick Morgan after two seasons. While a DE like Whitney Mercilus is a possibility, they can really use help at S. Griffin is inconsistent and neither Chris Hope or Jordan Babineaux are reliable at SS.
Previous pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
21) Cincinnati Bengals - Lamar Miller, RB: Cedric Benson hasn't been very effective despite his rushing yards and he's a free agent. Miller is a home run threat and is quick to hit the holes. Miller is also a tough runner to bring down. It's possible Cincy could go with a guard or center like Cordy Glenn or Peter Konz, but there is a thin market for RB's in free agency and the Bengals need an upgrade in the backfield more than they do on the line. The signing of BenJarvus Green-Ellis shouldn't deter the Bengals from looking at RB early in the draft.
22) Cleveland Browns (via Falcons) - Cordy Glenn, OG: The Browns could look at Miller if available, but they probably have faith in Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya. The Browns can put Glenn at LG between Joe Thomasand Alex Mack to give them one of heck of an offensive line. The Browns wouldn’t need a big name RB with that trio.
23) Detroit Lions - Stephon Gilmore, CB: The Lions also need help on the OL and at OLB, but they desperately need help at CB. OLB Zach Brown would be the only other player worthy of consideration in this scenario. Gilmore is a big CB with good quickness and will give the Lions much needed help in the secondary.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers - Luke Kuechly, ILB: The Steelers need to get younger on defense and would love to have Poe available at this position to help replace Casey Hampton. While the Steelers could go with a number of different positions, they'd be flat out lucky to get Kuechly at this stage of the draft. Major score for Pittsburgh with this pick.
Previous pick: Dont'a Hightower, ILB
25) Denver Broncos - Devon Still, DT: Denver already has solid players on the outside for the future with Elvis Dumervil, Robert Ayers, and Von Miller. Still could bring a solid presence in the middle to team with Broderick Bunkley to help solidify the middle of the field and strengthen Denver's run defense. Kendall Wright could be an option, but I think Denver likes Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
26) Houston Texans - Kendall Wright, WR: Teams won’t hold Wright’s poor performance at the combine against him. It’s no secret the kid has speed and can do a great job of creating separation. The Texans will finally find a capable WR to start opposite Andre Johnson with this pick.
27) New England Patriots (via Saints) - Kendall Reyes, DT: The signing of Steve Gregory lessens New England’s need for a safety, but not by much. They could also look for a CB with the pick. Despite signing Marcus Harriston in free agency, the Patriots could do well with Reyes to build a solid rotation at the DT position.
28) Green Bay Packers - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB: The Packers could use a pass rusher and a safety in case Nick Collins can't return. I believe Barron would be the pick here if he was available. Harrison Smith, the number 2 safety in the draft, just isn't good enough to be selected here over Mercilus.
Previous pick: Mark Barron, S
29) Baltimore Ravens - Stephen Hill, WR: The Ravens need help along the interior offensive line after losing Ben Grubbs. Peter Konz would be a great pick here, but the Ravens just re-signed Matt Birk to a three-year deal despite his age. While they have a temporary fix at center, they can look to a great WR prospect for the future with Hill.
30) San Francisco 49ers - Reuben Randle, WR: The 49ers signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in free agency, but Moss is only a short term solution. The Niners could have the luxury of using Manningham in the slot while using Randle as the #2 WR after they move on from Moss. A CB like Alfonzo Dennard also could be a possibility.
31) New England Patriots - Vinny Curry, DE/OLB: The best pass rusher left on the board. The Patriots desperately need help rushing the passer and after addressing their need for an outside WR with speed, they finally look to shore up their lacking pass rush. He doesn't have the explosiveness of some other pass rushers in this draft, but he may have the most violent hands. His hands, not his speed, will be what he uses to get by OTs.
32) New York Giants - Zebrie Sanders: The Giants offensive line has been going through transition. Look the once dominant offensive line to try and speed up their recovery by drafting Sanders. They'd love to have Glenn available and may look for Dwayne Allen at TE, but they probably feel they have enough weapons.